As permanent flight decarbonization solutions continue to mature, different hybrid models are emerging to fill the void. The latest comes through a partnership between Magnix, the Washington state manufacturer of electric propulsion for aviation, and Desaer, a Brazilian aviation company.
The two companies are teaming up to build a hybrid version of Desaer’s ATL-100, a 19-seat turboprop commuter aircraft. The new iteration, called ATL-100H, will add two 350 kW Magni350 electric propulsion units (engine and propeller assembly) located outboard of the standard wing-mounted turboprops. The electric motors will provide a strategic boost to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions while maintaining ideal range. As a bonus, they will increase redundancy and therefore security.
“Electric motors play the main role during take-off and climb, allowing the motor to operate at a lower consumption rate during these phases,” explained Evandro Fernandes Fileno, executive director of Desaer. Robb Report. “Depending on the cruise flight level, if battery power is still available, the Magni350 EPUs will continue to operate, also providing fuel savings during cruise.”
The standard ATL-100, with its two 1,000hp turboprops, has a published range of 2,000 miles, and according to Magnix, the hybrid version should deliver fuel savings of 25-40%. A direct relationship between fuel savings and range is unclear, but in theory the savings would put the hybrid’s range between 2,500 and 2,800 miles with a top speed of around 231 knots.
As Fileno points out, total range can be misleading, depending on each flight’s mission: “On a short-range flight, EPUs work throughout the flight.”
Sure, the ATL-100 is still a commercial aircraft, but if last weekend’s Super Bowl announcements are any indication, the era of all-electric dominance in cars has arrived. If the ATL-100H lives up to its promise, others will take note of the technology and stage similar solutions to make their way into the business jet segment.